tv [untitled] November 5, 2011 12:30am-1:00am PDT
not affordable. the average one-bedroom apartment is north of $2,000 a month in the marina. to represent a unit as affordable in the marina is a stretch by a lot. these units are really expensive. if you look at the vacation rental information that is provided, you can specifically see there is one specific narrow set of dates. i have had lots of friends who have rented out their places when they have gone on vacation to europe, because people who are not rich often do that to cover costs and pay for their vacation. if i had seen that this was on there for seven months, that would be different. but it is clear there was a precise window this property was listed for. it was a little disingenuous to present this as evidencng a vac. we know that happens in the city, but it is not a planning
commission issue. i know mr. williams is often upset when there are variances. this building does not fall into that category. i wish we could stick more to the issues of this commission, and not on arguments of luxury condominiums or whatever it is, which are disingenuous, in my view, arguments, with very little to do with a land use reason for a building in the location. i have friends who live in the block. i am very familiar with the income levels of the people in the area. i am not saying the people here necessarily are that, but the socio-economic diversity is lacking due to housing costs. commissioner antonini: i guess you would take dr to remove the railing -- to move the railing anin.
and in accordance of the architect's representation, approximately 3 feet to the east, if i am correct geographically. west? sorry. ne. -- northeast. commissioner moore: i would like to suggest a slight modification. i do not want to say precisely 3 feet. i want the architect to find a good line. that might not be 3 feet. but where that railing lands relative to the other buildings is important. that is important for you and the detail of how it is attached. i will leave that up to the department to work out. do it in keeping with the intent of not being opaque.
commissioner antonini: i will modify. a minimum of 3 feet? >> i suggest a distance to be determined by the architect and staff to ensure privacy. commissioner antonini: that is better. we won't put a number on it. >> does that mean that we have to come back? president olague: no, staff level. >> on the motion to move the modification of the roof deck to preserve privacy to the neighboring community neighbors -- [roll-call vote] so moved, commissioners, that motion passes unanimously, 7-0. commissioners, if it is your pleasure, we can move to your
5:30 calendar. president olague: 10 minutes? let's take a 10-minute recess. >> i'd like to welcome everybody back for the san francisco planning committee meeting. we have not approached our 5:30 agenda item, central corridor plan and transit center district plan and transit tower. >> good evening, i am joined by steve, who will be helping me with the presentation this evening. if we could get the slide, that would be great. we were last here before you to talk about the central corridor
planning project on at 14, six months ago. now it is in the initial stages of the idea gathering phase, and we're looking forward to catching up on everything we have been doing the last several months, our latest thinking, and the next tips and the project. just to remind you of the geography, are planned. is essentially two blocks on either side of the new on the construction central subway. this is what we call the study area. it ultimately, the recommendations may be pulled and slightly from these boundaries, but we're looking at this geography. and the last time we played this out, first, in terms of growth opportunity and looking at the city's long-term growth projections, and looking at logical places to concentrate growth in this area.
it is already a business center, residential mixed use neighborhood, but this is arguably one of the most trances-rich parts of the city, and arguably more transit rich than the financial district, with muni metro and plans to connect them up the middle. a couple of other specific reasons. one, a significant portion of the eastern sonoma was pulled out of the easter neighborhood rezoning. it essentially allows nothing except for industrial uses. there is very little development activity, and essentially that decision was the precedent to watching this effort, looking at rezoning in the planned area, essentially from harrison south.
also, the redevelopment plan was sunseted, and some of the parcels referred to various zoning that otherwise does not exist in the city anymore and we need to update the zoning. there are some remaining development parcels that we need to plan for. last, there is substantial development opportunity and the planned area. the area is still characterized by surface parking lots, 1-, two-story commercial buildings, generally largely underdeveloped south of harrison street. we kicked off this planning project in february. over the subsequent six months, through july, we went through a listening face. we met with groups. we wanted to hear what people
had to save for their vision of the central corridor, the vision of the future, their ideas about growth and improvements. this conversation that we undertook was framed by the work that we had done leading up to it. last time we were here, we presented some findings related to growth, office development. again, some of the things i have highlighted. we published background report in may. that has been up and publicly available for some time, summarizing the ideas. we wanted to give people a significant number of strategies and opportunities for them to contribute and tell us what they think what we are in this early phase. first, stakeholder meetings. we tried to find every group that we could find that exists and has an interest in this area. everything from the western task
force, the filipino american development foundation, a city- wide groups, the housing action coalition, and even the california entertainment association. we met with them on their turf to hear their ideas. we have a city technical advisory committee we have met with a couple times to advise us, including sitting agencies -- city agencies like mta, the mayor's office, bark, and regional partners, keeping them up to speed. we held two walking tours in june, in which we were not the primary speakers. we asked members of the community and various stakeholders to lead us on a tour of the area and tell us what they think about the future of the area. it was very well attended.
we had everybody from the manager of the hotel to developers working on the housing projects, sharing their experiences and thoughts with other folks in the neighborhood. that was a very rewarding experience. we also set up a storefront, and for several days at the end of june, buwe occupied -- occupieds not the best word these days, but we set up shop in a ground- floor retail space in the central area, it donated to us, and the retail space, and we were there four days ou, partiay midweek, partially weakened, and we were there for people to look at maps, and just give us their ideas. a couple of specific ideas that
we did that at this and several follow-ups with steckel groups. we did several language sessions, both well attended, and were helped set up by some of the neighborhood groups. we did mapping exercises, one focusing on the public realm and one focusing on all land use and the urban form. we created game pieces and asked people to use these game pieces or just right on the maps and tell us what they think about improvements to the open space as well as land use and building height and different parts of the planned area. we put the results of all of that wall data, unfiltered on the website. -- would put the result of all that raw data, unfiltered, the website. we also had approximately 100 replies on line.
people give a lot of input. we have posted everything that we heard today up on the website. we have the results of the mapping games, the results of the survey, and we have compiled all of the comments into a multiple page bullet list. we tried not to filter comments, other than to compile a similar points into bullet points. there is not total consensus on every issue, but generally, the sense we got is people agreed we were heading in the right direction. this is an area that should have growth. almost no one that i recall said there should be an area reserved as light industrial. there are some different ideas about building heights, which is natural, but generally people supported the direction we were headed. we set aside all of this worked and created a public realm and existing conditions report,
posted on the website last week. it includes all the things that we have heard, as well as summaries of all the various plans that exist, and some new analysis, including analysis of the existing sidewalk conditions to the recently adopted better streets plan and other good analyses. one thing, a major outcome of this public realm exercise, is to identify the key areas we are focusing our energy on for the planning effort. on the map before you, there are some highlighted yellow and orange areas. we cannot design for the entire plan area, we have to focus our efforts, and it is based on hot spots that people think are unpleasant, major pedestrian corridors, where we should focus our industries -- focus our energies.
one is adjacent to the new subway stations, folsom, all the way to thompson street, the areas around the freeway ramps and the freeway overpasses. those continuously came up as unpleasant areas that need substantial attention. there is a large green triangle on the block by fourth, fifth. this block was repeatedly identified, even proceeding planning efforts, as they blocked that is a good opportunity to create a new public open space, due to large undeveloped lots as well as some significant public property on that block. we undertook a and intense design exercise exploring the uses of that bloc.
lastly, it is a unique opportunity in this area, and we think we're going to explore that. in terms of moving forward with the public realm, our urban designers are focusing on these areas, and through january we will be developing concepts and holding public workshops. more immediately, we would like to talk to you about land use and urban form principles that we have gathered from this idea gathering phase and i will turn it over to steve. >> thanks, josh. i am steve, planning department staff. we have been compiling the ideas. i will talk about the land-use principles. we will use these as a framework of the central corridor plan.
i will talk about each principal and give some of the supporting factors so that you understand the rationale. to start, slide, please? there are two over arching land- use objectives, support growth and complete compete -- come pleat communities. the first principle is to support substantial development and the transit rich area. the bay area is expecting a lot of growth in jobs and housing. to minimize greenhouse gas emissions, san francisco should take on some of this growth. the central corridor has some of the bay area's best transit. the next principle is to favor office development over other kinds of growth. the city as recently identified appropriate locations for substantial housing development and job development, and the downtown is the primary focus.
quickly show it to slides. this is a look at the plans that we have done regarding where the housing should go. coit dispersed -- quite dispersed. and the jobs, focused around the downtown area, where the transit is probably the best in the bay area. moving back to the principles. on the notion of office development, we know the city needs new jobs for its existing residents. office jobs are expected to be the strongest growing economic sector in the region. the best job -- the best places are to put them near transit. placing jobs near transit is more determined is of transportation usage than putting housing near transit perry from the community's perspective, office buildings are last gentrified.
the next principle is to support growth at an appropriate locations. san francisco is expected to increase its amount of technology jobs as companies move appeared to compete for urban-oriented workers. they want to be near the existing hubs. san francisco has high-paying jobs relative to education, with large will the pliers that benefit the whole economy. they want these inappropriate locations -- they want these in the appropriate locations. it will benefit all the spillovers. there is a lot of development potential for firms to grow and thrive. the next principle, support development of housing. supporting factors -- the bay area still needs a lot more housing to mitigate the supply
and demand imbalance. many sites are too small or inappropriate for workplace development, and housing helps create a 24-hour neighborhood. it supports development for diversity of housing, especially below-market rate units. this is relatively straightforward. there is a need for all kinds of housing in the city and we are woefully under serving the affordable housing. we said that every time we are appear. we're doing as much as we can to make as much affordable housing as possible. completing creative -- creating complete communities. there are three principles. the first is to maintain and enhance existing housing, especially affordable housing. historic resources should be given the appropriate amount of protection. many of the buildings have historic importance.
we know it is possible to build new buildings compatible with existing historic buildings and districts, and is important to continue with this. the next principle is respect the recent rezoning processes, that have been examined in the eastern neighborhood and western sonoma plan. this proposal should be treated as a baseline for further consideration. the easter neighborhood plant explicit the deferred zoning and other plants. the next concept under creating complete communities is to support the first land uses. it permits a diversity of land uses. we have already talked about
offices and housing. we want to serve different ages, economic segments, different times of day, different lifestyles, a diverse neighborhood. we will like retail, though not necessarily stand alone big box. we know that live entertainment is important. we need to find appropriate locations. we need to make sure that industrial still has a home here. finally, creating a complete communities, supporting a high quality of life. first, supporting open space. the next, support and enhance cultural and public uses, the next is development should pay for necessary infrastructure, standard practice in the city, and the last is to support an eco-district. we have been working with people
from the city of portland and vancouver, and basically looking at ways of creating an eco- district or their shared energy usage, shared water, all kinds of things we are excited about, the director is excited about and the director of the department. it is new to us, so that is why we are talking to other cities. we have also applied for a grant from the epa to help us figure out what this means barry -- what this means. we will be talking about this in the future, but this is still early on in the process. we have strong green building requirements in the city, but we want to network that into something bigger. with that, i will turn it back over to josh. >> so based on what we heard and our own assessments and
recollection of the existing urban for men policies, the general plan, and other ongoing recent planning efforts caught -- efforts, but we boiled this down into four objectives. slides? thank you. some of these are related to land use. increased density and support the growth of new economy work places, with controls that affect -- reflect uses. second is enhance the city's skyline, including the views to and from the hills, the bay, and downtown. preserve and enhance it. visibility and unique character, -- preserve and
enhance the neighborhood visibility and unique character. last, appropriate urban form controls. we looked at many common building prototypes to see the range of forms that we are considering and what are appropriate forms to piece together for this area. this is a key card for the urban for a meeting. we spent a lot of time meeting with architects and brokers, local employers, especially the tech firms and developers, and we also looked at many buildings both old and new to see what it is about the buildings in south of market and downtown better so attractive to the firms that are locating here. of course, decisions to locate a
business is based on the culture and mixed uses, but there is definitely some key lessons to be learned in terms of building form. specifically, there is a certain prototype you have seen, talked about a lot recently. buildings that have large flexible floor space, open floor plans. this means that the elevators are not in the center of the building like a typical high rise, but off to the sides so there is expansive sightlines and flexibility. uniform high ceilings, 12, 15 feet, more than you typically find. and typically not incredibly tall buildings, typically for stories, eight stories. these buildings tend to top out at 10, 12 stories.
recently built buildings are about 10 stories, about 120 feet. the margin by smart is about 10 stories. there are a lot of good examples around south of market. older commercial industrial buildings that have these characteristics that are so attractive. this is important not just for cultural reasons but also because of the dynamics of the industry's. companies go from five employees to 50 employees, possibly merging and supporting, and they need the flexibility to move around and reallocate staff. while they may not be extremely tall in terms of height, there typically very high density, even more high-density than the typical downtown high-rises in terms of employees per square foot. we have seen up to one employee
per and hundred 20 square feet. and then back to the culture, a lot of these firms want to be in this location because it is that a high rise culture. it is sort of a subjective cultural thing about standing in line for an elevator with a bunch of suits going up to the upper floors. we hear that again and again, and maybe it is something that is intangible, but it is important to remember because that is possibly why they are seeking these areas. they're willing to pay high dollar values for these kinds of buildings. in terms of the heights, we're starting to analyze the existing height limits. clearly, the deepest red colors on the map are the high-rise
downtown, extending. a heights quickly transition down to 85 feet or so, quickly down to 40, 50 feet south of harrison street, with 85 feet immediately along the house and street. that is sort of the baseline we are working with. a high level objectives, making them more specific to this project. this is a synthesis of what we have heard, as well as our own assessment of the policy direction. one is to reinforce fourth street as a major housing corridor. that we should focus higher heights and the far northern and far seven sides of the planned area, which is where the greatest regional transit areas on market street has sort of
book in it that area. and that we should sculpt the height, very important to the hills from the bay and back. we should be mindful of open spaces, preserving some light to the open spaces. there are not a lot of open spaces. south of market is basically it. in the north, we have existing open spaces. there are not many park spaces, but there are open spaces, community gardens on the alley south of folsom, school playgrounds which are important on harrison street. to the far west, there is the recreation center, but that as far west. i mentioned to a potential open space.